Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland | A Book Review

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!


Having vented out my frustrations on the last review is making me feel a little okay. Not really better but at least not wanting to just sleep into oblivion. My cure for all that ails, whether emotional, mental, or physical, is sleep. I'd sleep all my disappointments away and wake up into the next millennium or not wake up at all. Like Sleeping Beauty only without Prince Charming to awake me from my healing slumber.

I got this book from Netgalley. This is a very gripping story, yet very annoying also. The ending was a bit frustrating for me. Ah, I wanted to smack Vivian in the head to stop doubting her instincts. To trust her woman's intuition. But to think about it, it wasn't that easy for her also granting the situation and all the circumstances and the things she would have to lose. This is story presents a very complicated dilemma of following your heart for love of country or for the love of your family. It's a choice between either breaking her heart and family or committing treason. Which would you choose?

I haven't read Karen Cleveland before and I totally enjoyed this thriller. The pacing is just right and the mix of characters is just perfect to mislead you who's who. Being an avid fan of thrillers, mysteries and spy novels, in a way, I had an inkling of what the story is going to be. When Vivian discovered that one of the Russian sleeper agents was someone she knew, I had an idea then who it was and I was right. Then after that, you will start to get lost in the story. Lost, not because you will be confused by the next events but rather you'd be so entrenched and involved in the story. I became Vivian's ally and the only other person who knows her secret and the moral dilemma she's battling with. I too was dumbstruck what to do. It was unbelievable that she was able to avoid detection. I knew that someone else had to be in it also inside the agency. There has to be a mole or a sleeper agent who has gotten inside its walls. 

Wow! Definitely the Russian got one point in this story. The conspiracy was well-planned and was laid out even before Vivian came into the picture. It was so well-planned that Vivian was actually targeted and how her career progressed was also part of the whole scheme. Incredible! I hate the guy. I can't say which guy is it because that will then unravel everything and would just spoil the story. But the guy that's very close to Vivian wasn't anything he was claiming to be. I am not even sure if he really loves Vivian. It was all part of the mission and Vivian helplessly feel into it. What she had to go through wasn't worth it just to protect that person she thought had her and their families best interest at heart. No. It was Mother Russia right from the start. 

I give the book 4.5/5 passports. This is like "How to be a Russian Sleeper agent in the US." With the author being a seasoned CIA analyst, she had made the story so believable and so engaging. My heart goes out to Vivian and I wanted to be her ally and help her see through all the deception and lies that was fed and being fed to her. It's like having a friend who's in an abusive relationship and you wanted to help that friend but the friend is bent on helping the other party rather than herself. She's being manipulated and you can't help but stand and watch because you've been told to stay out of it. This story is delicious yet leaves a bitter taste in you mouth because of the ending. It was another revelation on itself on top of all the lies and deception. What else is there? I think this story needs a sequel because I wanted to know who else is on the conspiracy. Who else was lied to and manipulated? Who else was used as scapegoat and how deep does this go? This story makes you think which do you value more--duty and love for your country or your love for you family? Both are the same it's love. But which love is greater that makes you want to defy everything else?



Like knowing the bad news is better than knowing nothing at all.
- Karen Cleveland, Need to Know - 




Thank again, Karen Cleveland and Netgalley for the copy.